Canadian envoy to Haiti says urgent action needed to resolve gang crisis

Canada’s Haiti envoy: ‘Nothing is moving fast enough’ to end country’s gang crisis


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“Is Haiti on the brink of collapse? The level of kidnappings in the country is worryingly high, and the situation seems to be getting worse. In 2022, 175 Canadian citizens requested consular assistance in Haiti, with 134 requests so far in 2023. This suggests that the security issues in the country are not improving. The United Nations Security Council has approved a military intervention, with Kenya leading the initiative to address the gang violence. However, the Canadian government’s response to this crisis has been met with mixed reactions. Here’s an in-depth look at Canada’s role in the intervention and the broader challenges facing Haiti.”

Military Intervention in Haiti

In October, the United Nations Security Council authorized a military intervention in Haiti, with Kenya at the helm of the operation. This move comes in response to the escalating gang violence in the country. Initially, Washington had suggested that Canada should lead the mission, considering its significant involvement in Haiti. Despite this, the Canadian government has expressed reluctance to send troops but is considering the deployment of the RCMP to assist in the situation. These decisions have sparked debates regarding the most effective approach to address the crisis in Haiti.

Canada’s Role in Training and Aid

Denis Giroux, Canada’s ambassador to Haiti, has emphasized the importance of equipping and training the Haitian National Police to combat the gangs. Canada is leading efforts to ensure that the police force receives standardized training and necessary supplies. The Canadian government also aims to facilitate a political consensus in Haiti to set the stage for free and fair elections. However, the absence of legitimate leadership in Haiti, following the 2021 assassination of the president, has created a legal void, hindering the country’s political stability.

Sanctions and Accountability

Canada has imposed sanctions on several Haitian elites in an attempt to curb their alleged association with gangs and violence. The government’s decision has not been universally welcomed, with some countries, including France and the European Union, refraining from imposing similar sanctions. Denis Giroux has urged other nations to take more stringent actions, arguing that the sanctions have already influenced the situation. However, questions remain about whether the sanctioned individuals have indeed contributed to the security crisis in Haiti.

The Future of Haiti

The situation in Haiti is complex, and finding a viable path to stability is challenging. The political, security, and humanitarian crises have left the country at a critical juncture. As Canada continues to engage and strategize in its approach to Haiti, broader international cooperation and consensus will be crucial. The pressing need for a clear plan and global leadership to navigate Haiti through these turbulent times is undeniable.

The predicament in Haiti calls for sustained diplomatic efforts, comprehensive intervention strategies, and international unity. As the world watches the situation unfold, there is an urgency for a coordinated and effective response to help Haiti regain stability and chart a sustainable course for the future.”


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